Friday, July 26, 2013
The Wolverine is a 2013 comic book/samurai film about a Hugh Jackman who goes to Japan because he can't find his purpose in life. The Wolverine is the biggest missed opportunity in cinema in a very long time. But that isn't to say that it is a terrible movie. The film is a very strong look at Logan/Wolverine and is the closest we have to come to seeing him portrayed correctly on film. Hugh Jackman is at the top of his game, and is as good as he ever was, but there are 2 major flaws that really prevent the Wolverine's teeth from fully sinking in: The first one is the rating. We never fully see how savage Wolverine can get. We come pretty close, but people needed to be a bit more sliced and diced. Sure there was blood on his claws and he did stab a man in the throat on screen, but he never once raged as well as he did in X2. And the other is its stupid audience. This could have been a very deep and philosophical samurai film, but because modern film goers are fucking retarded, the film had to have a big dumb action sequence at the end. The action in the film was good, a lot of it was very good, in fact, but this is the perfect example of "less is more". I would have been more satisfied with a simpler and smaller ending. Actually, the ending almost ruined the movie, because it seems so forced and abrupt. I can't blame the film makers, because the aren't making a Wolverine film for me, they are making one for the general public, and the general public has to see big dumb spectacles. The film is enjoyable, mostly for its first 2 acts, and its button scene, which was my favorite scene of the year, but I can't let go of the fact that it could have been more. I still recommend it to anybody who likes the X Men movies or just Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, because it is still a competent film with a cohesive beginning, middle and end. It's entertaining enough, and it is a large step up from the last Wolverine solo outing, but it could have been a masterpiece, if studio executives were more trusting. The Wolverine may not be the best he is at what he does, but he he does is pretty fun
Saturday, July 20, 2013
The Exorcist for a modern age. While it's not completely original, it is the scariest film in many, many years, if the the scariest since Alien. The Conjuring is the most refreshing film in years. That is said from the mouth of a horror fan. I was raised on horror, and it is my favorite genre. But like anything else that becomes tired and stale, I found myself looking for other genres to explore. There haven't been many good scary movies over the years, let alone original ones (remakes, sequels, reboots). I will admit that I prefer to see independent dramas, but that is only because I can trust the quality of the film making more from those types of movies, than say a new verynormal activity movie. In fact, one of the worst film's I have seen in recent years was the "horror" """""film""""""" Silent House. If anyone remembers my 5 rules of horror, this one only met one of the rules, but it was the most important rule: It was SCARY. It was scary in a practical sense, too. Not cheap fucking jump scares, or just loud noises. There were about 2 jump scares in the entire film, and both of them were very appropriate. Nothing was cheap in this whole film. This is the most competent and technically impressive film I have seen this year, and I was so surprised by that. This is the first film I have seen this year that I think is worthy of a "Best Achievement in Directing" nomination from the Academy. Mud was close, but this one is a sure thing and I would give my vote to it. The cinematography was the best of the year, and the sound was super tight. All the performances were believable, and nobody felt out of place or hammed it up. James Wan is what people thought M. Night Sucksatfilmmaking was going to be. He knows how to tell a story, knows how to set up a scene and can deliver a satisfying climax. He doesn't rely on cheap gimmicks and is a very intelligent filmmaker. Sure he missed with Dead Silence, plenty of great filmmakers have made some flops (Jack, Revolutionary Road, Alice in Wonderland, Spy Kids 3-D). Insidious was very much the prototype to this film. Every flaw that Insidious had is now fixed, and every positive element about Insidious is improved ten fold. I'm tired of saying "favorite movie of the year" or anything related to the sort, so I will just say, if you are a fan of horror, or even a fan of cinema as an art form, go check out The Conjuring.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
BAM. BOOM. FUCK YOU MONSTERS! Pacific Rim is a giant robot creature feature, that is all spectacle and almost no substance. It is pure science fiction action. There are two ways to make a movie, in my opinion: You can tell an interesting story with philosophy, deep metaphors, strong characters and a plot that can be personal and relevant to the audience, or you can forego that in favor of a giant spectacle that leaves the audience on the edge of their seat and is pure dazzling entertainment. Pacific Rim is Guillermo Del Toro's love letter to Godzilla. Sure it has a strong anime influence, but it is very much him just trying to make a big monster movie that is all jaw dropping entertainment, and boy was my jaw open. This was the first film in almost 15 years where I really felt like I was rooting for a super man. There was a constant sense of danger, tension and the monsters were so vindictive, that I really wanted them to get their ass kicked. It was like being a kid again. The story was by the numbers, but it didn't matter, because of how it was told and the man in charge. Del Toro really cares about interesting visuals and puts it very high on his priorities. The main character sucked and pretty much every character is a top gun stereotype, with the exception of scene stealing Charlie Day and Ron Perlman, but none of that bothered me because I was constantly engaged in what was going on. Normally a lead character is in place to guide you through the film and keep you emotionally invested in what is going on, but this time it was all about the robots. Michael Bay pretends to be the go to visual effects splendor guy, but he lies about that like he lies about everything else he is involved in. Del Toro understands the appeal of visual effects, it is not about how much money you pump into the CGI, its about what you can do with them. The monsters were really interesting looking and had really cool powers, but the thing that stole the show were the robots. The robots were also perfectly made to reflect the nation that created them. The Chinese bot was sleek and lean, the Russian bot was a clunky crappy looking machine, and the Australian bot was an English convict. I was invested in everything that this film fed me, and even though it was by the numbers blockbuster, it was still the most refreshing action film I have seen since X-Men in 2000. I give it a perfect rating and recommend it to absolutely everyone. It is my third favorite movie of the year and it is easily my favorite action movie in years.
Friday, July 5, 2013
Only one game per franchise. That's the only rule
10. Super Battletoads: STOMPIN TIME!!!!!!!! Awesome sound, sweet graphics and no other game lets you grab a rat by his giblets and punch away at his no no parts. Everyone loves Battletoads, but only Super Battletoads is a playable game. Violent, crude and over the top manly, Super Battletoads is the best sidescrolling arcade game ever made
9. Onimusha 2: The first game I really got emotionally invested in, was Onimusha, but it wasn't until Onimusha 2 that I had decided that I am invested in the future of this franchise. Essentially, Resident Evil with Samurais, Onimusha took the clunky hack and slash gameplay of Resident Evil and fine tuned it into a game with beautiful set pieces, legendary heroes and Kurosawa-esque story telling of epic proportions. Easily the best single player game of its generation from Capcom, and definitely the (tragically) most overlooked
8. Mortal Kombat (2011): This is roughly my direct link to film because of the gore, and the early entries of this series are some of the most fun I ever had playing a game, but it took almost 20 years, but they finally made a game that put others in the genre to shame. Appropriately violent, fast paced, and with all the fan favorite characters and Sheeva, Mortal Kombat did what Capcom only dreams it could do now.
7. Diablo 2: As much as I love D1, D2 is the better game. The combat is better, the game is longer, and you can fucking RUN! Diablo 1 has a better story and a darker atmosphere, and randomized quests, which make the game feel fresher on replay, but the expanded classes and the improved multiplayer, along with the visuals of hell make D2 a memorable, and still played, game. While the first one has better atmosphere, the cinematics in D2 still haunt me to this day, and has some amazing monologues. If only the would finish the trilogy with Diablo 3...Oh wait...
6. Perfect Dark: The superior Goldeneye. It's just a better game. It's a better cinematic experience, (which it is loosely) the gameplay is tighter, the graphics are better and the multiplayer is far better. The only thing that Goldeneye has that PD doesn't have is overwhelming nostalgia. Besides, I'd much rather fuck Joanna Dark than Pierce Brosnon.
5. Mega Man X3: The pinnacle for the Mega Man franchise. Mega Man X3 makes Mega Man X sleeker, stronger and provides a really steep learning curve which was missing from The Mega Man X series. As a bonus, for the first time, you get to play as Zero. Zero is fucking badass and we all love Zero. The game has a surprising amount of depth for a Mega Man game. There is so much for the player to do. You can pilot mechs, get crazy amounts of upgrades, fight secret bosses, and a Guns and Roses song. But that last one is a con.
4. Super Mario RPG: This took the slot for Final Fantasy. This is one of the most beautiful games I have ever played, with absolutely jaw dropping graphics, not just for the time, but it still looks like a good game. Simple combat, and a great story, equal the most unparalleled Mario game ever created. Too bad Square sucks so much, or else we might get a sequel to this gem.
3. Metal Gear Solid 4: This is the only game that I want to put the whole series on. The greatest thing about Metal Gear Solid is the story, and the most satisfying conclusion to any story I have witnessed is Metal Gear Solid 4. It is a heavily emotional, and sometimes tragic tale of a legendary hero's final fight in a world that has moved past him. Metal Gear Solid 4 is easily the best entry in the series. It has great graphics, amazing sound and some of the best gameplay I have ever had my hands on. Anyone who says MGS3 is the best is lying to you, and to themselves.
Marvel Vs Capcom 2: The devourer of Quarters. No fighter got the competitive, arcade style of Street Fighter tighter, and, quite frankly, more fun than Marvel Vs Capcom 2. 3 on 3 fighting, and an impressive 56 character roster, Marvel Vs Capcom 2 is the perfect sequel. It took a great formula for a game and just made it better in every way. It plays the same as the previous entries in the franchise, but different enough so that it doesn't feel like a rehash. Bigger, faster, and bolder, Marvel Vs Capcom 2 is actually the best fighting game ever made. Hopefully Capcom will pull whatever strings it can and hurry up and release Marvel Vs Capcom 3. Oh...wait...
And my number 1 game of all time....
The father of all shooters. The game basically defines horror and FPS. It's challenging, scary and brutally fun. The replay is monstrously high, because the experience is so satisfying. Nothing beats running through walls chainsawing demons. Fuck hell!!! There is a certain sense of satisfaction from kicking Evil's ass. But you don't always kick it's ass. Remember, behind every walls, lies certain...DOOM
There you go. My favorite games. They may not be your favorite, but they are certainly mine. They have stuck with me for years and I still play them and enjoy them thoroughly. If you haven't played any of these, download an emulator and give them a go.